Learn hypnosis from a master hypnotist

Acknowledgement Part 8: Focusing Inside To The Core

Till this point we have learned quite a lot of useful Acknowledgement stuff. You can actually do brilliant work using just The Basic Protocol to settle things down, and then focusing on one thing and Drilling Down To Bedrock, all the while Going Meta to keep things on track.

In this post I’ll teach you a new protocol. It’s called “Focusing Inside To The Core” (FITTC). I will elaborate in a later post, and to keep it short, you use FITTC when you hit a situation where there is strong emotion. DDBT is good for working out a recurring problem that you face, TBC is good for settling down when things inside are disorganized and flying around, GM is always relevant as it keeps things on track, and FITTC is good when there is strong emotion.

Now doing FITTC is very simple and easy. It’s much like DDTB, just the target and end point is different.

Instead of ‘Why is it like that?’, we ask ‘Why do I wish that?’. And we stop when the answer contains the word ‘want’.

You start with The Formula:

I wish he wouldn’t have left, of course I wish he wouldn’t have left, who wouldn’t?! And I acknowledge the fact that he left.

At this point you ask ‘Why’. Why do I wish that?

Why do I wish he wouldn’t have left?

Because I miss him.

Now we go back to The Formula.

I wish I wouldn’t miss him, ofc I wish I wouldn’t miss him, who wouldn’t?! And I acknowledge the fact that I miss him.

Back to ‘Why do I wish that’

Why do I wish I wouldn’t miss him?

Because it hurts so much when I miss him.

And back to The Formula.

I wish it wouldn’t hurt so much, ofc I wish it wouldn’t hurt so much, who wouldn’t?! And I acknowledge the fact that it hurts so much.

Back to ‘Why do I wish that’.

Why do I wish it wouldn’t hurt so much?

Because I don’t want it to hurt.

At this point we have hit ‘The Core’. The key word to look for is want. When you see that word, you have hit The Core.

And now you go back up.

I don’t want it to hurt, and so of course I wish it wouldn’t hurt so much, and so of course I wish I wouldn’t miss him, and so of course I wish he wouldn’t have left.

It’s that simple.

The Formula, Why do I wish that, The Formula, Why do I wish that… Until you hit the word WANT in response to the Why question.

Now of course, if you hit something you don’t wish that can also stop it… So you might get.

I wish he wouldn’t have left, of course I wish he wouldn’t have left, who wouldn’t?! And I acknowledge the fact that he left.

Why do I wish he wouldn’t have left?

Because I love him.

At this point “I wish I wouldn’t love him” might be untrue. And so we have hit the end and we go:

I love him, and so of course I wish he wouldn’t have left.

In essence, you either stop when you hit the word want or when you hit a spot where you don’t wish the next wish that comes up.

Try it, post in the comments, and ask your questions. Also tell us what it was like. I think it’s a pretty cool experience!

 

Tagged as:

6 Responses to “Acknowledgement Part 8: Focusing Inside To The Core”

  1. li says:

    Did a bunch of acknowledgment, it got kind of confusing pretty quick. Here’s a question that emerged:

    What do you do about ambiguity or conflicting wishes? You start with a problem X, set out to state “I wish that not X. Of course etc”. But before you’re done with that you realize this: ‘I wish for X to remain as it is so I won’t have to face Y’. Where to go from here? If you weren’t doing acknowledgment then I guess you’d reflect on the conflict and stuff, but I got the idea that this process can accomodate conflicts that come up instead of leaving you to deal with them separately.

    • Joe K Fobes says:

      Excellent question.

      When things aren’t settled (and conflicting wishes are one example of that) I generally go with The Basic Protocol and I usually end up also Going Meta.

      Since you haven’t given me an example, I’ll make one up. Feel free to drop another comment with more specifics so we can work on what you are working on.

      You said:

      “You start with a problem X, set out to state “I wish that not X. Of course etc”. But before you’re done with that you realize this: ‘I wish for X to remain as it is so I won’t have to face Y’.”

      Ok, so let’s say X = “My friends always pressure me to go party with them” and Y = “I’m a loser who doesn’t know how to relax and have fun”. And so while I wish X wouldn’t be true, I want X so I don’t have to face Y.

      Here we go using The Basic Protocol (TBP) and with Going Meta (GM). The secret question to ask at each juncture is “If I had a magic wand, what would I change at this moment?”:

      I wish my friends wouldn’t always pressure me to go party with them, ofc I wish my friends wouldn’t always pressure me to go party with them, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that my friends always pressure me to go party with them.

      Now since we are doing TBP we simply notice the next wish or reality that comes afterwards and use the Basic Formula on that as well. So this thought might pop up… “Hmmm, if they don’t pressure me then I’ll never end up relaxing.” So we go:

      I wish that it wouldn’t be that if they don’t pressure me then I’ll never end up relaxing, ofc I wish that it wouldn’t be that if they don’t pressure me then I’ll never end up relaxing, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that if they don’t pressure me then I’ll never end up relaxing.

      Now we might get: “I’m such a loser who can’t relax and have fun”. So we go:

      “I wish I wouldn’t be such a loser who can’t relax and have fun, ofc I wish I wouldn’t be such a loser who can’t relax and have fun, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that I’m such a loser who can’t relax and have fun”.

      Now we might get “Wow I have no clue as to even what I want, I’m such a loser but I hate pressure”. So we Go Meta:

      I wish I had a clue as to what I want, ofc I wish I had a clue as to what I want, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that I have no clue as to what I want.

      Now I’m just going to go stright… This is how it feels it might go:

      I wish I wouldn’t be stuck, ofc I wish I wouldn’t be stuck, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that I’m stuck.
      I wish it wasn’t so messed up, ofc I wish it wasn’t so messed up, who wouldn’t and I acknowledge the fact that it’s so messed up.
      I wish I knew what to do, ofc I wish I knew what to do, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that I don’t know what to do.
      I wish I could just learn to relax, ofc I wish I could just learn to relax, who wouldn’t, and I acknowledge the fact that I can’t just learn to relax.

      Now at this point it feels to me that things have settled a bit. And so I might take “I acknowledge the fact that I can’t just learn to relax” as a starting point to run a Drilling Down To Bedrock. I imagine that mapping that would be useful and pretty cool.

      If it’s not settled and things are still ambiguous and unclear, you can stick with TBP. A few “I wish things would be clear” and “I wish I knew what to do” and “I wish this wasn’t so frustrating” would certainly be useful.

      Let me know if this answered your question, and if it didn’t, let me know how so we can figure it out.

      • li says:

        Thanks for your substantial reply!

        So…

        In your example you first say the full formula for X and only then deal with the conflict. But if I become aware of the conflict soon after I come up with the wish and before I’ve said the formula, then the whole time that I’m going through the formula I’ll be aware that I don’t really mean it and am just suppressing the conflict. I don’t imagine that’s how it’s supposed to work.

        I can think of two different solutions. The first is to find a way to somehow fully feel a wish even if it conflicts with some part of me. Not so much supressing the conflict as focusing on one side only for the time being.

        The second is to always refine my wishes (kind of going meta) until there’s no part of me that disagrees with them. This is pretty difficult. Also I’d never get a tree more than 2 levels high because if I started with a conflict-free wish A, did the formula, asked “why not-A”, and got B as a reason, then “I wish that not-B” would have some conflicts of its own simply because almost all wishes do until they’ve been carefully refined.

        What advice would you give for choosing between these approaches? My guess is that you would recommed something like the first one but I’m not sure.

        Guess what I’m asking is that if wishes are divided into two groups:

        1) those that some part of you wants but another part wants to avoid
        2) those that some part of you wants and no part wants to avoid

        Then, can you use the acknowledgment formula with wishes in group 1, or does it only work on wishes in group 2?

        Another thing I’m wondering about is acknowledging negative thoughts like “I’m a loser”, like in your example. First, isn’t it weird that it would make you feel better to tell yourself that you acknowledge you’re a loser? Should you really go ahead and acknowledge all your nastiest negative thoughts as true, one by one? Not really asking to argue about it, more to verify that that’s really what you’re supposed to do because it’s pretty counterintuitive.

        Second, what if the thing you’re supposed to acknowledge is something you’re not even sure you believe in? So not an objective fact like “I don’t have a job” but a subjective judgment like “I’m ugly” or “I can’t do anything”, or an uncertain threat like “I’m going to get robbed if I leave my house”. Things where there can be one part of you believing it and another part or parts disagreeing with it. Should you acknowledge it anyway? Or should you only acknowledge something if you believe it wholeheartedly and no part of you disagrees?

        After last time I did another hour or so of acknowledgment and got stuck trying to formulate wishes that I could wholeheartedly endorse without feeling a nagging conflict when saying them, and where I also wholeheartedly believed that I didn’t yet have them so I could acknowledge not-X as true. Did find some but it took long enough that I wasn’t sure I was doing it right. Was scrapping 85% of the wishes I came up with and didn’t get a tree more than 2 levels high for the reason I said earlier.

        (I was working on stuff like “I wish I knew what to do” and then realizing “I don’t want to know what to do because then I’d be faced with threatening demands”; and “I wish I spent time more effectively” and then feeling vaguely uncomfortable about not knowing what I’d spend it on and about how maybe I’d get in trouble or encounter something dangerous if I started doing more active things; and “I wish I could access an unambiguous wish” and then feeling discomfort about how maybe I’d be creating artificial enthusiasm and ignoring reasons why the wish would be a bad idea. Etc.)

        • Joe K Fobes says:

          In your example you first say the full formula for X and only then deal with the conflict. But if I become aware of the conflict soon after I come up with the wish and before I’ve said the formula, then the whole time that I’m going through the formula I’ll be aware that I don’t really mean it and am just suppressing the conflict. I don’t imagine that’s how it’s supposed to work.

          It would certainly be nice if you could always have ‘clean wishes’ that don’t involve suppressing conflict. I would say that most people doing acknowledgement would want that. As you have noticed, that very often isn’t the case.

          And so I approach the formula as something that is ‘cheap’. I use it very liberally. And so when I have hint of anything there, I just say it. Often after I say it, whatever was there that didn’t make it ‘clean wish’ comes into sharper focus and I then do that one as well.

          In addition, when I do Acknowledgement I don’t linger on the formula. I just say it. Takes me about 5 seconds.

          It so happens to be that I also have not found any detrimental effects of saying the formula on stuff that aren’t true (Jimmy talks about this in his blog post referring to the time that I did Acknowledgement with him after he went through a significant trauma).

          I’m also not concerned about suppressing conflicts and fooling myself and all of that as saying the formula doesn’t mean this is the end all and be all of life. It simply means that in this moment this is what I have in front of me. If in the next second something else arrives I’m ready for that as well.

          It’s kind of like a mediator (at least how I do mediation anyways). Before I even get to working on the issues I get a list from each party containing what they would get if they could get whatever they want. Even things that ‘don’t make sense’. Often times one party will go nuts hearing the other persons list (she wants me to do all the housework, never watch sports again, never go out with my buddies, and never drink again?! Whaaaaaaaaat?!). That’s when I say “hey, putting something on a list doesn’t mean it will happen. I promise you that we won’t agree on anything here until you are perfectly satisfied”! Making the list is just making a list. Nothing more and nothing less.

          And with all that I would suggest that whenever you sense this issue that you acknowledge it. “I wish I could have clean wishes, ofc I wish…” Anytime it comes up in your session. Even if it comes up multiple times (at which point you may have the wish “I wish this wish wouldn’t keep coming…”). You might find it useful to do a DDTB on it

          Another thing I’m wondering about is acknowledging negative thoughts like “I’m a loser”, like in your example. First, isn’t it weird that it would make you feel better to tell yourself that you acknowledge you’re a loser?

          It’s weird. And I think that if you think about it with the theory that it becomes understandable. I will say from experience, with myself and my clients, that it’s enormously helpful.

          Should you really go ahead and acknowledge all your nastiest negative thoughts as true, one by one?

          That would be an interesting exercise. I might give it a go. Why don’t you give a SUDS rating on how you feel about yourself from 1 – 10, do this, and then rerate. Then come back and tell us about it. I’m curious as to what it would be like.

          Not really asking to argue about it, more to verify that that’s really what you’re supposed to do because it’s pretty counterintuitive.

          Yes indeed it is what you’re supposed to do in Acknowledgement.

          Second, what if the thing you’re supposed to acknowledge is something you’re not even sure you believe in? So not an objective fact like “I don’t have a job” but a subjective judgment like “I’m ugly” or “I can’t do anything”, or an uncertain threat like “I’m going to get robbed if I leave my house”. Things where there can be one part of you believing it and another part or parts disagreeing with it. Should you acknowledge it anyway? Or should you only acknowledge something if you believe it wholeheartedly and no part of you disagrees?

          A client of mine who is a bit sticklerish about this does it this way “I wish it was a fact that I wasn’t ugly”. He also then often ends up in “I wish it didn’t feel like it was true that I’m ugly”. We sometimes get “I wish I knew clearly what I believe”. I personally use Acknowledgement cheaply, and so I’m ready to just say it anyways and then just notice what comes up.

          (I was working on stuff like “I wish I knew what to do” and then realizing “I don’t want to know what to do because then I’d be faced with threatening demands”;

          How about “I wish that knowing what to do wouldn’t make it so that I’d be faced with threatening demands”?

          and “I wish I spent time more effectively” and then feeling vaguely uncomfortable about not knowing what I’d spend it on and about how maybe I’d get in trouble or encounter something dangerous if I started doing more active things;

          So start with the “I wish I spent time more effectively, ofc I wish…”, and then do “I wish I knew what I’d spend it on, ofc I wish…” and then “I wish I knew I wouldn’t get in trouble, ofc…” and then “I wish I knew I wouldn’t encounter something dangerous if I started doing more active things, ofc…” and then perhaps “I wish the chances of encountering something dangerous wouldn’t increase the more active I got” and then perhaps “I wish dangerous things wouldn’t exist” etc.

          This is how it goes! People are extremely complex. Just like in programming you write the program function by function and if you tried to write it all in one line of code it would be too much complexity. Heck, sometimes as you code you realize things that you never would have had you not started actually coding. It would be nice if it was possible to plan it out perfectly from the start, who wouldn’t want that! And it seems that you have to actually do it and correct as you work.

          The key might be in using it cheaply. 5 seconds a pop. One after another. Rapid fire. There is of course all sorts of risks in doing this, that it won’t be ‘right’ and ‘perfect’ and it would be sweet if I had something better and more perfect, and for now this is all I got!

          Once again, let me know if this answered your question, and if it didn’t, let me know how so we can figure it out.

          • li says:

            Very helpful reply! Now I think I get how this works. Took me a while because the “quick and dirty” approach goes against almost everything I’ve learned about stuff like this. Advice like you shouldn’t talk over your feelings or make up verbal descriptions that sound obvious or like the kind of thing you should say. Etc. Anyway looks like that doesn’t always apply. I’ve been doing this casually for a couple of days to loosen myself up on an as needed basis, and one more prolonged session which was kind of intense, drew out some long-standing dissatisfactions, but I felt better afterwards. Looking forward to using this more on different issues. Thanks for writing up this technique and helping me get the hang of it.

          • Joe K Fobes says:

            Excellent!

            Keep us posted as to how it goes.

Leave a Comment